Exploring Japan: Kawagoe – March 14, 2010

I’m a sucker for historical places.  I love seeing old architecture.  One of the best places to see well preserved Edo Period architecture is in Kawagoe, Saitama.  The city is sometimes called Koedo, or Little Edo, because it has so much Edo Period buildings.  There are also many temples and shrines.  I didn’t have enough time to see everything I wanted to see, so I’ll have to go back again to see more.  Please enjoy the pictures!

The entrance to Crea Mall, north of Kawagoe Station.

A shop for hip hop and street wear. Is it for horses?

Walking down the street, the first old buildings can be seen.

Many of the old buildings are European style.

And many are Japanese style, like this shop.

Everything looks old here.

Next door is an old Japanese style building. I wonder if it's from the Edo Period.

This one impressed me. It has a nice classic design from when European architecture was popular.

There's even an old little car next to an old building.

Quite the mix here. It's old Japan meets modern Japan.

Across the street are some great old European buildings. Unfortunately, there was quite a bit of traffic.

A shop in an old Japanese warehouse.

Lots of temples and shrines are in Kawagoe. This is Houzenji Temple.

More old buildings. There are so many along this street!

And more traffic obscuring my view of these old warehouses.

Here's another wonderful old building. This is Saitama Resona Bank.

These buildings look old, but great!

Doesn't this just make you want to go back to the Edo Period?

Now I could see Toki no Kane, the famous landmark bell tower in Kawagoe.

Looking way up!

If you walk under the bell tower, you can see a small shrine.

And here's the bell tower from the other side.

Here's a gate to Yojuin Temple.

And Yojuin Temple itself.

Here's a very popular location in Kawagoe, Kashiya Yokocho. It's an old market street with many sweets shops.

Lots of old traditional sweets and snacks!

All the shops are in old buildings.

Even though this street is short, there's a lot to see and buy.

This is a small cafe which includes a VW bus.

Koi in a pond just outside a restaurant.

Finally, here is Gyodenji Temple. It has beautifully kept grounds.

The temple itself is also quite beautiful.

Here's a closeup of the carvings on the temple.

If you have a chance to visit Kawagoe, I definitely recommend it.  The street that most of this is on goes north from the east side of Honkawagoe Station.  The following map should help.  The street I was on goes from Honkawagoe Station up to just west of the Motomachi area.  Kashiya Yokocho is west of Motomachi.

This post is also participating in “Show Me Japan #27!”



Filed under Japan, Kawagoe, Saitama

20 responses to “Exploring Japan: Kawagoe – March 14, 2010

  1. I love Kawagoe! The ‘sweets street’ is my favorite 😀

  2. Nice. 🙂

    Love that cute little car too! The old market street looks like a fun place to wander around.:)

    The European architecture there kinda reminds me of our very own Penang. ^^

    Any reason for the numbers of European looking buildings there in Kawagoe?

  3. Great post. 🙂
    There are many old houses for good or bad.
    Some buildings are used well but the other buildings look ruins.
    Kawagoe is one of the most popular place in Saitama.

    • Thanks! I was kind of expecting you to leave a comment, since you live in Kawagoe 🙂
      Yeah, with any old building, it depends on the owners to take care of them. But on that main street, most seem to be in quite good condition.

  4. Looks like I’m gonna have to put Kawagoe on my Bucket List too lol Nice Pics

  5. There so many beautiful buildings in Kawagoe.

  6. Great post. Kawagoe is a great visit to get a glimpse of old Edo. During our visit there, we ate at the restaurant with the koi pond in your picture.

    • You actually ate at that restaurant? I’m amazed you could recognize the restaurant from the photo of the koi pond 🙂 But I guess it was the only koi pond around a restaurant I’d seen.

  7. I’m stretching my brain for a Hip-hop/Horse connection and I’m not coming up with anything 😦

  8. Pingback: Equine fashion designed in Tokyo | Lens on Japan

  9. Thank you for the pictures. I could trip to Kawagoe.
    I like such street because there are not signboards having vivid colors. 🙂

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